John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ERIC YOPP, also known as “E-Love,” 34, of New Haven, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny to 21 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for distributing cocaine.
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the sentencing occurred via videoconference.
According to court documents and statements made in court, this matter stems from an investigation headed by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force and New Haven Police Department that targeted drug trafficking and related acts of violence by members, former members and associates of the “Island Brothers” street gang in New Haven. The investigation, which included court-authorized wiretaps and controlled purchases of narcotics, also revealed that the drug trafficking organization had established a base of operation in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. The investigation subsequently identified a second drug trafficking network that involved the large-scale distribution of heroin.
Numerous conversations and text messages intercepted during the investigation revealed that Yopp was acquiring and distributing cocaine.
On July 9, 2019, a grand jury in New Haven returned a 15-count indictment charging 25 individuals with federal narcotics offenses related to the distribution of crack cocaine, cocaine and heroin. Yopp and another individual were added as defendants in a superseding indictment that was returned on November 25, 2019.
Yopp was arrested on November 26, 2019. At the time of his arrest, he possessed approximately two grams of cocaine and items used to process and package narcotics for street sale.
Yopp has been detained since his arrest. On June 10, 2020, he pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.
This matter is being investigated by the FBI’s New Haven Safe Streets/Gang Task Force, New Haven Police Department, Milford Police Department, Hamden Police Department, East Haven Police Department, Connecticut State Police, Connecticut Department of Correction and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Anthony E. Kaplan, Peter D. Markle and Elena L. Coronado.